It might have just been minutes before Content Marketing World keynoter William Shatner took the stage to round out the three-day event, but one overarching message that Cisco’s Senior Marketing Manager Tim Washer shared with a packed room during his breakout really stuck. He advised marketers to make sure you have the right people in the room during creative meetings—and to keep naysayers out of initial brainstorming sessions.
As put by Washer, we have all been there. We have spent hours upon hours putting together a painstakingly perfect marketing proposal, only to have it be squashed within minutes of presentation because of that curmudgeon in the corner seat. So what’s Washer’s advice? Get the creative minds and the glass-half-full people in the room during the pitch and get them on your side. Spend time during this meeting, with the out-of-the-box-thinkers, to do the brainstorming and amending. Then, once your plan is perfected, approach the conservative folk.
This sentiment is perhaps no more true than when it comes to content marketing. While the statistics indicate that upper management is hands in for content marketing—especially with 91 percent of B2B marketers using content marketing and 54 percent planning to increase content marketing spending over the next 12 months—the reality is that some folks in the C-level suite are still trepidatious about diving into the new marketing pool.
Therefore, take a cue out of Washer’s book and know where to start when it comes to your content marketing pitch. For example, if you are looking to get the green light from your CEO and spearhead a Facebook advertising campaign, you may be better off getting support from the social media manager first, who can corroborate your story when you tell your CEO that social media is an integral component to your marketing strategy.
Or, perhaps you are hoping to get the VP of Creative and Design on board to have your design team create four infographics for your website. However, instead of heading straight for the top, it might be wiser to have an initial conversation with the designers first to get their buy-in so when you go to your boss, you can prove the ROI on the design time needed to create these visual pieces.
At the end of the day, you know your organization best—including those that serve as bottlenecks and “Debbie-Downers.” Therefore choose your pitch wisely. Oftentimes, you have just one or two moments to really introduce a new concept to your brand, so don’t waste it with the wrong audience. Get the most innovative, open-minded employees from your company together and start outlining the road map to bringing your content marketing strategy to fruition.